The last time I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) I met a former colleague whom I had not seen in several years. When we both left an hour and a half later, he said "You definitely look older than the last time I saw you."
My son David's posting on DMV Demographics reminded me of a few other aspects of that experience.
The DMV is one of the few places in which one meets a real cross section of the community (excluding the small number of people who do not drive). As David observes, this is less so now that people can renew drivers and auto licenses on the internet.
There are a number of political ramifications to this:
Journalists don't see a cross section of society. Very few journalists go to church regularly. This makes it difficult for them to cover religion stories
objectively. The website GetReligion (as in "Journalists don't get religion") covers this topic.
When we had the draft, the military represented a cross section of society. Today, many in the Pentagon worry that the all-volunteer military is creating a separate warrior class - a group of men and women who regard themselves as morally superior to the society that they are sworn to defend.
Liberals read and watch one part of the mainstream media. Conservatives read another. Each group has accused the other of being out of touch with the American public.
Political discourse becomes increasingly bitter. This topic has bothered me for a long time. See Culture Wars Bring Bitter Fruit.
It is a good posting, David. Revise it and it will be nice op-ed piece in the Washington Post. You can buy me lunch with the check.